Lockdown Games for 2
The year 2021 has officially arrived…
Even though this new year has the potential to be a lot more positive than 2020, Manitobans still find themselves in the midst of a province-wide lockdown. Getting together with family and friends from outside our household is something that we can only look forward to in the next weeks or months. For the time being, we will have to continue to be satisfied with the company of the people that we live with. For many of us (including myself) this means a spouse or partner as the only other party at a board game table. And that’s ok. Luckily there are plenty of board games out there that cater to a 2-player-only experience. If you are a household of two, and you are interested in expanding your day-to-day routines with some board games, then here are my favourite titles that I would encourage you to try. Not all the games in this list are exclusively for two players only. Some games allow for more players, but they offer an excellent gaming experience for two. As we are getting ready for the upcoming winter months, bundle up and enjoy your time together with some new games. Happy New Year, everyone!
2-4 players, ages 8 and up
This absolutely charming game is one of my all-time favourites for a game evening with my wife. Players are tasked with maintaining a Japanese bamboo garden which is inhabited by a panda bear and a gardener. On their turn, they can choose to grow bamboo, expand the plots or move the panada. The player who manages their land plots best, growing the most bamboo while feeding the delicate appetite of the panda, will win the game. A great game with wonderful components, theme, and game play.
2 players, ages 12 and up
Two of the most powerful traders in the city of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan are in competition. In this fast-paced card game players must use a blend of tactics, risk and luck. On their turn, they can either take or sell cards. If they take cards, they have to choose between taking all the camels, taking one card from the market, or swapping 2-5 cards between the market and your cards. Sets of cards can then be exchanged for points if they choose the sell action. Whoever has the most points after 3 rounds wins.
2 players, ages 9 and up
A highly addictive strategic game for two players that is not restricted by a board and can be played anywhere on any flat surface. Hive is made up of twenty-two pieces, eleven black and eleven white, resembling a variety of creatures each with a unique way of moving.
The object of the game is to totally surround your opponent’s queen, while at the same time trying to block your opponent from doing likewise to your queen. The player to totally surround his opponent’s queen wins the game. A great game especially for people who like chess-like mechanisms.
2-4 players, ages 10 and up
Each player takes the role of mayor who wants to develop their city in order to complete all of the landmarks under construction faster than their rivals. On their turn, each player rolls one or two dice. If the sum of the dice rolled matches the number of a building that a player owns, they get the effect of that building; in some cases, opponents will also benefit from your die (just as you can benefit from theirs). Then, with money in hand a player can build a landmark or a new building, ideally adding to the wealth of his city on future turns. The first player to construct all of their landmarks wins!
2-4 players, ages 10 and up
An easy-to-learn game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gems in order to acquire the most prestige points. On your turn, you may collect chips, or buy and build a card, or reserve one card. All of the cards you buy increase your wealth as they give you a permanent gem bonus for later buys; some of the cards also give you prestige points. In order to win the game, you must reach 15 prestige points before your opponents do.
Are you intrigued to try a new 2-player game? Here are my top suggestions:
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